The Last Thing I Would Do

The Las Vegas Advisor solicits “Questions of the Day” and some of the ones related to video poker are passed along to me. I answer, on average, one or two of these a month.

On February 9, there was a QOD about hitting a jackpot while using someone else’s slot club card.

One of the responses to my answer was: “I always ask the rewards desk first rather than ask forgiveness later.” While responses are encouraged, and in no way was this one out of line in any respect, the suggestion by the responder reminds me of something I would rarely do! It is so expensive to follow that methodology!

To be sure, when I played for large stakes where W2-Gs were likely and traded off playing hands with my then-mother-in-law, I would check in with the slot shift boss before we started playing. I would explain what our plans were (namely I’d be supervising the play, with my money, even if her fingers were on the buttons at the exact moment of the jackpot), and I wanted all W2-Gs in my name. So long as I was there, usually the slot shift boss had no problem with this. 

But most people playing on somebody else’s card do not receive W2-Gs. Why open up a can of worms unnecessarily? Most slot club rules have words to the effect that you must not play using someone else’s card, but that rule is seldomly enforced except in cases where a player is discovered using multiple such cards.

If you go to the slot club, they will likely find the rules, read them, and tell you not to do it. And now there can be a record of you receiving a warning to this effect. But if you play on someone else’s card anyway without asking first, you’ll almost always get away with it. If you play the “I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I won’t do it again” card at this point, usually there is no problem.

There are so many times at a casino where the casino has some sort of loophole or mistake in their rules, if you always go up to the club and ask — this gives them a chance to fix their mistake! As somebody who is looking for an edge in casinos, I don’t always want these mistakes fixed! Mistakes are where the profit is! I want to take advantage of these mistakes! Why spill the beans and cause yourself to lose a valuable opportunity‽

One example of this would be starting and ending times for promotions. If a casino ends one promotion at 3 a.m. but begins another at 12 a.m., there are three hours of overlap. Possibly unintended overlap. If you hit whatever you need to do to qualify for both promotions, now you turn your light on and have the discussion. Sometimes you win!

I wouldn’t do this for something worth ten dollars or less, but sometimes it can be worth thousands of dollars. Why not take a shot‽

Part of this is my own personality. I’m not worried about minor confrontations with employees, but many people are. You need to be sure of your ground and able to think fast on your feet. Not everybody is like that. For someone who wishes to avoid any sort of skirmish such as talking to a supervisor, by all means go and ask at the slot club first. Your life will be much calmer that way.

If I end up getting kicked out of a slot club or casino, I can promise that I’ll be sorry that opportunity is no longer available to me. But it won’t be traumatic. And it won’t be the first time!